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Posted at: Sep 13, 2017, 7:33 PM; last updated: Sep 14, 2017, 1:58 AM (IST)

High court panel recommends scrapping of HCS (Judicial) exam

High court panel recommends scrapping of HCS (Judicial) exam
The committee also recommends transfer of the Registrar (Recruitment).
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 13
A Punjab and Haryana High Court committee, looking into the paper leakage case, has recommended the scrapping of “HCS (Judicial Branch) Preliminary Examination 2017” after prima facie finding that some of the candidates had access to the question paper.

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No less than 760 calls and messages exchanged between Registrar (Recruitment) Balwinder Sharma and a candidate during the past year also prompted the committee to recommend registration of FIR against him and the candidates. 
Sharma’s forthwith transfer from the post pending further action has also been recommended.
The inquiry report, by the Recruitment/Promotion/ Court Creation Committee (Subordinate Judicial Services) of the High Court, was submitted before a full bench hearing the case this afternoon.
The committee said prima facie findings suggested that at least two candidates, Sunita and Sushila, had the question papers. Therefore, the possibility of other candidates having access to the question paper could not be ruled out.
“In such circumstances, the purity of the examination having been lost, the committee recommends that the HCS (JB) Preliminary Examination, 2017, held on July 16 be scrapped”.
The committee added Sharma unequivocally denied prior acquaintance with Sunita, the general category topper. The call details furnished by the service provider, on the other hand, reveal that 760 calls and SMSs were exchanged between Sharma and Sunita during the last one year, indicating that the matter required a “deeper probe”.
Recommending initiation of regular inquiry against Sharma on the basis of preliminary inquiry, the committee recommended the lodging of an FIR against Sunita, Sushila and Sharma to further probe “the act of leakage of question paper”.
Taking a note of the report, the full bench of Justice Rajesh Bindal, Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Gurmeet Singh Sandhawalia directed the High Court to apprise it of action taken on the basis of the recommendations made by the committee.
The bench also asked the Registrar (Vigilance) to direct the mobile service providers to preserve call details, messages and other data available with them of all the persons involved at the current stage.
Paper leak case
A committee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, through Haryana Public Service Commission, had invited application for filling up 109 posts in the subordinate judiciary.
The paper leakage case has its genesis in a petition filed by Suman for registration of a criminal case to uncover the scam. Suman, a candidate, had alleged that she was contacted by Sushila and Sunita claiming they had the examination paper. Suman also alleged at least two questions were disclosed to her a day prior to the examination. She further alleged Rs 1 crore was demanded, but she declined.
Justice Kuldip Singh initially hearing the matter observed Sunita was topping in the general category with exceptionally high marks. Sushila, too, was topping in the reserved category again with exceptionally high marks. Both had committed minimum errors.
Justice Kuldip Singh had also asked Registrar (Recruitment) to file his personal affidavit stating “who handled the examination papers right from the time it was set till it was distributed in the examination hall”. He was also asked to disclose the names of the officials/officers deputed for handling and printing the papers officially. 


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